Ontario making historic investment to modernize long-term care

The Ontario government is investing $933 million in 80 new long-term care projects, which will lead to thousands of additional new and upgraded long-term care spaces across the province. Today’s announcement moves the government a step closer to fulfilling its commitment to add 30,000 much-needed long-term care spaces over ten years.

“From the beginning of this pandemic, our Government has made it clear that we will do whatever it takes to protect our long-term care residents,” Premier Doug Ford said. “These historic investments will provide our seniors with the safe and modern living spaces they deserve, after decades of neglect and underinvestment by previous governments.”

As of December 2020, more than 40,000 people were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed. Ontario is investing $933 million in these projects, on top of the $1.75 billion already earmarked for the delivery of 30,000 new spaces over ten years. With this new allocation, Ontario now has 20,161 new and 15,918 redevelopment spaces in the development pipeline.

“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards, will help prevent and contain the transmission of infectious diseases and ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment.”

In addition to modernizing the long-term care sector, these projects will add 7,510 new spaces and upgrade 4,197 spaces, helping to reduce waitlists and end hallway medicine.

Criteria for selecting the projects being announced today included:

  • Upgrading older homes in response to lessons learned around improved Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures, particularly the elimination of three and four-bed rooms;
  • Adding spaces to areas where there is high need;
  • Addressing the growing needs of diverse groups, including Francophone and Indigenous communities; and/or,
  • Promoting campuses of care to better address the specialized care needs of residents.

Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. On March 24, the government will release the 2021 Ontario Budget. It will focus on protecting people’s health, with a plan to defeat COVID-19, and support for people and jobs.

 

Photo: “Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.

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